Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Painted Pumpkins 101

I know, I know..first it was pumpkin bundt cake, then it was pumpkin dog treats, and now its spray painted faux pumpkins (or faumpkins as I call them. Or just started calling them right here in this moment. Whatever.). I really wasn't kidding when I said I'm absolutely obsessed with fall. On a scale of things I could be addicted to, it is a pretty mild issue really, falling somewhere in between Netflix binging and wine fervor. In fact, everyone only seems to benefit from my hardcore seasonal enthusiasm. I spray painted two pumpkins last year for Halloween, and absolutely loved them. Since Derek was home this year, I decided it would be fun for us to make a few more. Derek begrudgingly agreed to my unrelenting arts and crafts session (he secretly enjoyed it), and thus, these faumpkins were born:
I bet its pretty clear who chose to do what pumpkin.
A few Halloween's ago, I carved a Mike Wazowski jack o'lantern. It was in this moment that my arthritis was born. But since we live in a magical land where it is 80 degrees one day in October, and 50 the next before repeating the cycle, jack o'lanterns rot in about a night or two and turn into something reminiscent of Renee Zellweger's new face. Its rough, y'all. So last year, I took the time to churn out a few painted pumpkins from Hobby Lobby, and love that I can reuse them year after year without worrying about melty face.
Mike in cooler, happier times. My fingers get all crampy just thinking about it.
Last year's faumpkins for an NFL house divided.
At least one of these pumpkins isn't dying from embarrassment this season.
These pumpkins are insanely easy to do, and if you live somewhere with bipolar weather, you will find it is nice not to have to worry about your hard work withering and dying before your very eyes. Or if you live somewhere normal, its just awesome to have pumpkins you can use year after year. So let's get to the nitty gritty! Sorry, the fall obsession makes me say very strange things like "nitty gritty."
You'll need spray paint depending on what type of pumpkin you want to make. Get a can for your base color, and if you have large accents, get those colors in spray paint as well. For smaller accents, Sharpie makes paint pens in just about every color imaginable.
Then head to your local craft store (Michaels, Hobby Lobby, etc.) and look for fake pumpkins in the seasonal area. Grab however many you need! They usually come in standard orange, white, and black.
The only downside about the fake pumpkins is that they can be kind of pricey, around 25 bucks. This why I get them from HobLob, because they are 40 percent off. Well, I also have to get them from HobLob because Michaels does not exist out here, unfortunately. Once you've gathered all your paint and pumpkins, get yourself set up outside. Naturally, the weather went to complete shit when I wanted to do these, so we had to work quickly and bring the pumpkins in to the laundry room to dry.
Look, I got me a handsome model to help with the step-by-step photos!
Spray your faumpkin with a base coat of spray paint. Allow it to dry for about a half an hour before hitting it with a final coat. On a nice, sunshiny day, you could leave them outside to dry even quicker between coats. Thanks, Clovis. While drying, create a template for your pumpkin. I simply Googled "Mike Wazowski pumpkin template" and "Grim Reaper pumpkin template" and printed out what I found on sturdy card stock after working my MSPaint mojo and resizing the templates to fit properly on the pumpkins. Yes, MSPaint mojo is a real thing. No, I cannot tell you why I'm too cheap to buy a better image editing software. Anywho... If you have to spray paint an accent color instead of using the paint pens, the card stock will keep the paint from soaking through to the rest of the pumpkin while you use it as a stencil/guide.
Yeah, my printer stopped working halfway through the reaper, so I had to freehand.
You want to reverse-image cut the stencil if you plan on spray painting. Again, this is so that you don't end up accidentally painting the already painted base coat a different color. You'd want to use double-stick tape to secure it to the pumpkin so no holes would cause a leak. I just needed guides to draw on my pumpkin, so that is a lot easier to do.
 Once the base paint is dry, it is time to get all super artsy (by super artsy, I mean tracing with a pencil). My pumpkin did not require anymore spray paint, so I just needed to draw on Mike's eyes, mouth, and horns.
I simply traced around his ojo and drew in a pupil and an iris.
"Put that thing back where it came from, or so help me!"
Now we get to practice coloring inside the lines.
Something I have always failed at miserably. Damn these dysfunctional hands!
Derek decided it would be easier to trace the reaper and color him in with my giant Sharpie.
Think markers for three year olds, just toxic.
How ghastly! He has more artistic talent when it comes to drawing than me
because he has real, working hands. Lucky.
 Derek started by working his way from the outside to the inside. As a lefty, this made no sense to me, so I did things the exact opposite way. I now see that probably would have been beneficial working outside to inside because then I would have had a better chance at not coloring like a simple-minded idiot (*waves hands*) or a toddler.
Derek's reaper was outlined in black, and his scythe colored in silver.
Once he colored in the reaper, he used the silver paint pent to add a creepy moon, stars, and tombstones.
At this point, I think he was finally enjoying himself. At least I only make him do arts and crafts time once a year.
I started by working on Mike's beautiful, large, oblong eyeball. Can we just talk about how much I love Monster's Inc.? Seriously. It has to be one of my all time faves. Children are so scary even monsters don't want to touch them. This speaks to me on so many levels. I'm also a fan of any story with a good bromance. Mike and Sully, Turk and J.D., Affleck and Damon...I'm probably just jealous because relationships like that don't exist with women. We get Regina George and Cady Heron, Paris and Kim, that one annoying chick from Glee and that other annoying chick from Glee. Sigh. I digress.
In my own way, I did start working from outside to inside.
Just in a fashion more befitting a scatterbrained chicken.
I used the paint pen to color in Mike's white (he only has the one),
and only dripped paint all over him, me, and my redone kitchen table once! Progress, y'all!
While letting his eye dry, I drew in his horns and colored in his teeth. No drips this time. Little victories.

I then took my industrial-sized Sharpie to color in his pupil. Still, just has the one.
I finished up by coloring in his baby blue (just the one), and painting in his horns before outlining everything last.
Unconventional, but it worked!
From start to finish, including drying time, it took us the same amount of time to make these pumpkins as it would have to cut open a real one, not puke while scooping out the guts, and build on to the preexisting carpal tunnel and arthritis by carving them. And bonus- we get to reuse these again next year. Perhaps Sully might come out to play for Halloween 2015. Who knows...

Each year I add to our Halloween decoration collection. This year I finally had the wherewithal to film all our decorations at dusk (see above). From our Batcave (where I park my Batmobile) to our Murder House windows to our graveyard and swirling vortex of doom, we are really ready for Halloween! Minus the fact that I abhor children and make Derek answer the door. Last year I had to do candy by myself as he was deployed. After one hour and a possible brain aneurism from listening to high-pitched child noises, I quit, turned off all the lights, and ate a bunch of candy in bed. It ended up being a really great night. Back to Halloween treats next week. 'Til next time, my fellow eaters!


  1. Very glad you are enjoying Halloween. It's in our genes. Ma. ��

  2. Yes. Nothing will ever top the Grandview house days!!


Leave me some love, some advice, tell me the meaning of life...whatever you fancy! You don't have to have a Blogger account, you can leave a comment by clicking "Anonymous" in the "Comment As" box..but if you're not a troll, leave me your name after your comment so I know who said what!